one girl's journey to let go of the rulebook and embrace her already abundant life

Joy that Creeps (Unforced Rhythms Link-up)


Christmas Joy BannerThe heat rises slowly. But the frost does not give way.

It can be stubborn like that.

Cold and unfeeling.

Eventually its crystals will succumb. The persistence of warmth provides no other option.

And the progress is small at first. The tiniest of clearings at the far south of the windshield.

My vision is still highly impaired.

I watch as one warm spot edges out the coldness. Then another and another. Until one quick motion erases the ice and clears my view.

Sometimes joy creeps like that, too.

It started for me in the thumbs.

I don’t know, really, how long my fingers rode in stillness. Months, I am sure. Maybe even years. Until the day I found myself tapping rhythmically to the radio.

And I did not make it stop. I let it creep.

Steering wheel drum solos. Head-bopping. Full-fledged car karaoke.

On some days the frost returns. That doesn’t surprise me anymore.

A permanent smile is worn only by the foolish. Or the liar.

So I do not curse the coldness.

For I know where to find the warmth.

Because an ice-covered windshield clears faster when you turn it towards the sun.

And my heart, in search of joy, is no different.

Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
    and will lift up your face to God. (Job 22:26)


The wonderful Kelli Woodford (Chronicles of Grace) is taking a well-deserved blogging break in December, but she has graciously let me borrow the Unforced Rhythm link-up community for the next few weeks. Your words are welcome here. So very welcome.

If you stopped by here for the link-up, would you consider to connecting with me as well. On the right of this page you’ll find lots of ways to keep in touch. Just pick your favorite method of communication, and I’ll see you again soon!

33 Responses to “Joy that Creeps (Unforced Rhythms Link-up)”

  1. OAS exchanging is basically open doors when bookmaker’s costs contrast by an edge enough to permit danger free speculations.

  2. “A permanent smile is worn only by the foolish. Or the liar.” I love this Beth. I am suspicious of someone to always has it all together all the time and always is smiley, happy happy. I really like what you have written here. we want quick action, instant changes and it just doesn’t happen that way. New to your blog through Unforced Rhythms Link up.

  3. Beth,
    Congrats on your new site and I love that image of you tapping with your thumbs….and the metaphor of finding warmth in God’s joy :) Thank you :)
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…3 Ways You Can Be Like MaryMy Profile

    • Beth says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Dolly.

    • Vina says:

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  4. I love this post. Delight in the Almighty, indeed. I’m pretty sure JOY is supposed to be my word for 2015 … :)
    Kristin Hill Taylor recently posted…How to make homemade treats without bakingMy Profile

  5. Sharon says:

    Love the new site! And I loved this post. JOY was my word for 2014. I am preparing to write my “recap” post about the journey. And one thing in your post resonated with what I’ve felt. Joy for me most often wasn’t the big *cymbal* moment. It was rather like the tiny tinkling of a bell, heard in the middle of difficult circumstances, sounding a quiet but reassuring message of hope. For me, joy also creeped – but it also seeped into every crevice of pain, and filled me up with the Love of God!!


    • Beth says:

      I can’t wait to read about how JOY has impacted you in 2014. I love the idea of joy as a tiny tinkling bell. And also the idea of joy seeping into our crevices, especially the painful ones. I so appreciate your comments, Sharon.

  6. Cheryl Smith says:

    Love your new site, sweet friend! Have been meaning to stop by and comment, but the time is always so short when I am on here. :) Much love to you and yours this blessed Christmas!!

  7. Amber Cadenas says:

    I love everything about this analogy, Beth. Joy starting in the thumbs. Drum solos. Slowly creeping. Not cursing the coldness or forcing smiles. I learn so much from your wisdom, friend.

    • Beth says:

      I find myself hoping I’m learning from it, too, Amber. The Spirit gives the wisdom. It sometimes comes through my fingers and I pray it penetrates my heart.

  8. JoNell says:

    Your new title is powerful! Was it you who said that joy follows gratitude? I read that somewhere so I am practicing gratitude and am confident–and grateful–that joy will follow! Thanks, Beth!

    • Beth says:

      I wish it were me that talked about joy following gratitude. I certainly have found it to be true in my life. Thanks for adding it to the conversation.

  9. Joe Pote says:

    “Because an ice-covered windshield clears faster when you turn it towards the sun.

    And my heart, in search of joy, is no different.”

    I love this analogy! Even as I read the first few lines of your post about the persistence of frost, I was thinking, “until the sun hits it!”

    Yes, it is in the radiance of His glory that we find warmth!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Beth says:

      Glad you caught my metaphor early, Joe. I always love the way God puts nature right in front of us to teach us about himself. And I also love the warmth of friendship and am grateful for this community. Thanks for being a part of it, Joe.

  10. Joanne Viola says:

    Love this post as it resonated deeply after our pastor’s sermon yesterday. This here –> “Sometimes joy creeps like that, too.” Love that joy creeps in unannounced, at times unnoticed. And then, the morn comes that you notice it’s there – boldly & loudly. Rejoicing that joy comes. Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…May We GrowMy Profile

    • Beth says:

      I love that, Joanne! How the creeping joy gets so loud that the only appropriate response is rejoicing. May you have much of that this Advent season!

  11. Beth S. says:

    Btw, love the new blog name and look!
    Beth S. recently posted…His love and grace compels meMy Profile

  12. Barbara says:

    Loved reading your post – I wrote on JOY also for my Sunday Reflections! Thanks for sharing…Joy DOES have a way of creeping up on us!
    Barbara recently posted…3rd Sunday of Advent – JOY!My Profile

    • Beth says:

      Can’t wait to read your JOY post, Barbara. Such a short word for a hard-to-hold-onto feeling, huh?

    • Tommy says:

      The blogging platform is the &#2t;02sof2ware⁙ that you’re going to use such as wordpress, blogger, typepad, or others. The host or hosting server is who you’re going to use to “host” your blog. This would be a company that offers you certain amount of hard drive space that you can use to put your blog on. If you have a free blog you don’t have to worry about a host. You only need to think about that if you’ll be using a self-hosted blog that you have to pay for.

  13. Love the new blog title! The post is good too. 😉
    Michelle Anderson recently posted…Advent_December 15My Profile

  14. Lisa notes says:

    This will resonate with many today, Beth. It resonates with me in one particular area in my faith history that I’m having a hard time removing bitterness from. But slowly the joy is creeping back into that corner of my history too. I’m glad God is so patient to work with us at whatever pace we allow him.

    • Beth says:

      The frost creeps in an ebb and flow sometimes, doesn’t it, Lisa? It’s Ok to let the joy creep, too. We dishonor ourselves and our pain when we try to cover it too quickly with a false sense of Ok-ness. Blessings on the journey, friend.

  15. Natalie says:

    A permanent smile. The foolish. A liar. So true. “I do not curse the coldness. For I know where to find warmth.” Those words stopped me, because I have to remind myself to embrace those times rather than wish them away. Thanks for that.
    Natalie recently posted…Roads in TransitionMy Profile

    • Beth says:

      You’re so right, Natalie, that we quickly try to wish things away instead of discovering the lessons in the midst of them. But we were made to live in seasons, I believe.

  16. This was beautiful, Beth. I am sitting here reflecting on these words . . . “So I do not curse the coldness. For I know where to find the warmth.”
    Just beautiful.
    Blessings to you, friend.
    Beth (@SimplyBeth3) recently posted…His love and grace compels meMy Profile

    • Beth says:

      I think I’m learning that many of the things I tend to complain about can be fairly easily resolved by turning to our Jesus. Thanks for being here.


  1. Soul Stops | 3 Ways You Can Be Like Mary - […] Linking with Kelli of Unforced Rhythms which is at Beth's blog, Trading Good for Grace, for December […]
  2. Advent_December 15 | FOUND - […] ~ Unforced Rhythms, Monday […]

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